Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Running a retail or wholesale outlet, whatever its size, costs money and can impact on the environment. But you can take practical steps to manage your environmental performance and save money.
Managing your environmental performance can help you to improve your reputation and win new business. It can help you communicate to your customers and staff that you comply with legislation and that you care about your impact on the environment.
Your business can reduce its environmental impact by using an environmental management system (EMS). An EMS helps you to identify your business' impacts and then manage your activities, for example the waste you produce or the energy or water you use. This can help you to improve your environmental performance and ultimately save money.
For more information about how an EMS can help your retail or wholesale business see our guidance on environmental management systems.
Your business can benefit from improving, and reporting on, its environmental performance. For example reporting will:
You should focus on how you manage your key environmental impacts, for example waste management and energy use. Document the progress you are making. This will help you motivate staff.
To find out how you can measure and report on your business' environmental performance see:
The NIEA and SEPA have also developed a toolkit that will help you comply with your Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) permit or waste management licence and manage your environmental performance.
You can reduce the environmental impact of your business by considering how you source your goods.
When you are choosing products to sell, consider:
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) produces guidance for retailers on how to manage their supply chain.
Encourage your staff to work together to improve your environmental performance. The day-to-day actions of your staff can reduce your environmental impact significantly. You could ask a member of staff in your business to be an environmental champion - you may want to have a champion in each store if you are part of a group, or at your warehouse too.
Engage with senior management to gain their support for environmental policies.
Raise awareness among staff about your policies and update them regularly on your progress and what you've achieved.
You can use the NetRegs e-learning tools to get a good overview of key issues. These tools are free to use and cover the essential points of each topic. They might be useful as a refresher course, or to make sure that staff have a good understanding of their environmental responsibilities.
All are available at: NetRegs e-learning tools
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics
New guidance for Start-ups, charities and community projects
View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.
Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland